The Dubai Air Show, happening right now, Nov. 13–17, 2011, is always the place for all things aeronautical. This year’s exhibit has continued that tradition. Record numbers of jets have been ordered: On Day 3 of the show, orders already total $47 billion (USD) —three times more than the tally of the last show in 2009.
Qatar Airways and Emirates were the big spenders at this year’s air show; Emirates made a firm order for 50 of Boeing Co.’s 777-300ER aircraft. These two companies are funneling global travelers through the Middle East at an unprecedented rate. Combined, the two carriers ordered enough aircraft to seat 38,000 passengers.
And many of those global travelers can expect to travel through UAE in the coming years. Because of its location, travelers can take a long haul flight from the UAE either east to Asia or west to Europe. In Dubai, the Al Maktoum International Airport is due to be completed in the next decade. It will be the largest airport in the world, capable of handling 160 million passengers per year, compared to 70 million at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Take a look at the new business jets featured at the Dubai Air Show; 120 aircraft were on display. The next show will take place at Al Maktoum International Airport in 2013.